Our readers may be interested in this editorial on Catholic support for LGBT rights by Bishop Joseph Sullivan, retired auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn. While one might rightly wish that Bishop Sullivan had not depicted the Roman Catholic community and the LGBT community as two separate groups (though his positive references to parishes that welcome LGBT families and retreats for LGBT Catholics show that Sullivan is not entirely ignoring LGBT Catholics) or question the depiction of Catholic popular support for LGBT civil rights as “Catholics reaching out pastorally to the LGBT community” (I suspect that, if anything, the polls Sullivan cites have more to do with LGBT “pastoral outreach” to Catholics!), we should not underestimate the significance of a Roman Catholic bishop publicly lauding Catholics’ support for LGBT equality, including protection against discrimination and the ability to adopt children (highly contentious in institutional Catholicism, though not, as Sullivan notes, in popular Catholicism).
Sullivan writes, in part,
Catholics and other religious people who support LGBT rights do so because of their experience of engagement with members of the LGBT community. They are not rebels in their churches, but people who have taken spiritual messages of inclusiveness and welcoming to heart. They are taking the church’s teaching on social justice and applying it to pastoral practice in engaging the LGBT community.